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Does knowledge on diabetes management influence glycemic control? A nationwide study in patients with type 1 diabetes in Brazil

Authors Gomes MB, Santos DC, Pizarro MH, Barros BSV, Melo LGN, Negrato CA

Received 13 July 2017

Accepted for publication 10 November 2017

Published 4 January 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 53—62


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Marilia Brito Gomes,1 Deborah Conte Santos,1 Marcela H Pizarro,1 Bianca Senger V Barros,1 Laura G Nunes de Melo,2 Carlos A Negrato3

1Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes Unit, State University Hospital of Rio de Janeiro, 2Department of Ophthalmology, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 3Department of Internal Medicine, Bauru’s Diabetics Association, Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil

Objective: The purpose of this study is to establish demographic and clinical data associated with the knowledge on diabetes management and its influence on glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Methods: This was a retrospective, observational, multicenter study conducted with 1,760 patients between August 2011 and August 2014 in 10 cities of Brazil.
Results: Overall, 1,190 (67.6%) patients knew what glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) means. These patients were older, had longer disease duration, longer follow-up in each center, reported lower frequency of self-reported hypoglycemia, and were more frequently Caucasians and at glycemic goal. Multivariate analysis showed that knowledge on what HbA1c means was related to more years of school attendance, self-reported ethnicity (Caucasians), severe hypoglycemia, economic status, follow-up time in each center, and participation on diabetes educational programs. Good glycemic control was related to older age, more years of school attendance, higher frequency of daily self-monitoring of blood glucose, higher adherence to diet, and knowledge on what HbA1c means.
Conclusion: Patients with a knowledge on what HbA1c means had a better chance of reaching an adequate glycemic control that was not found in the majority of our patients. Diabetes care teams should rethink the approaches to patients and change them to more proactive schedules, reinforcing education, patients’ skills, and empowerment to have positive attitudes toward reaching and maintaining a better glycemic control. Finally, the glucocentric approach to diabetes management should be changed to actions that include patients’ psychosocial aspects aiming to reduce the stress of living with diabetes, improving glycemic control, and avoiding adverse outcomes.

Keywords: type 1 diabetes, diabetes knowledge, diabetes education, glycemic control, diabetes complications

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